Trenten Kelley

Massachusetts Gov. Appoints Cannabis Legalization Opponent to Control Commission

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has appointed state Sen. Jen Flanagan to the state’s Cannabis Control Commission, the Boston Globe reports, his second appointment of a cannabis legalization opponent to oversee the industry. Earlier this month Baker appointed Walpole Police Chief John Carmichael Jr. to the Cannabis Advisory Board; Carmichael has said that medical cannabis dispensaries would be fronts for “illegal distribution and money laundering.”

Flanagan, a Democrat, was one of 119 state lawmakers that opposed Question 4, calling cannabis legalization “the wrong path for the state” as the country is mired in the so-called opioid epidemic. In a statement from Baker’s office, however, she said she was “honored” to receive the appointment. She is the first of five commissioners to be appointed to the CCC.

Baker called Flanagan “a champion and important partner with us on bipartisan efforts to enact comprehensive legislation around substance use prevention, treatment and recovery.”

“Her experience and service will be invaluable . . . as [officials], educators, and public health and safety professionals work together to ensure the effective, responsible and safe implementation of the adult use of marijuana,” the governor said in a statement.

Jim Borghesani, the communications director for the legalization campaign, said advocates “hope that Sen. Flanagan will put her personal position aside in order to advance the will of Massachusetts voters.”

According to the Globe, Flanagan is expected to resign from her state Senate seat by Aug. 31.

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